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Delaware has moved into the digital rights vanguard by passing a law granting families the right to control a loved one's digital assets after his or her death.

According to Ars Technica, Delaware is the first U.S. state to accomplish this kind of legislation, although some states (like Idaho and Nevada) have more limited versions of digital rights for heirs. Speaking to the law's strengths, a spokeswoman for the Delaware governor's office noted that regardless of the location of the digital account provider (e.g., Twitter, which is based in San Francisco), if a will is governed by Delaware law, the executor would have access to those accounts.

Lindsay Lohan has filed a lawsuit against the makers of "Grand Theft Auto V," alleging they used her likeness without permission for a character in the hugely popular video game.

Lohan's lawsuit (filed in New York and attached below) alleges that Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive's use of a character named Lacey Jonas is an "unequivocal" reference to the 28-year-old actress.

The Jonas character appears in the game hiding from paparazzi and asks one of the main characters for a ride. "Please, I'm hardly wearing any makeup," the Jonas character says. Later, Jonas gets frustrated when the main character doesn't recognize her. "I'm really famous!" she says, as they evade photographers.

For months ahead of the game's release, the complaint claims, the companies promoted the Lacey Jonas character and a side plot that must be rescued from paparazzi.

Lohan starred in the 2004 movie "Mean Girls," but in the decade since has become better known for her legal issues (including theft and reckless driving) and six rehab stints.

In 2000, Lohan sued E-Trade over a commercial that featured a "milkaholic" baby named Lindsay. Then in 2011, she filed suit against Pitbull for rapping, "So, I'm tip-toein', to keep flowin', I got it locked up, like Lindsay Lohan."

Lohan's latest lawsuit may well come down to her "rights of publicity" and whether the Jonas character is actually based on her likeness.

California's laws on teacher tenure, layoffs and dismissals deprive students of their constitutional right to an education, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday.

The ruling is a serious defeat for teachers' unions that overturns several California laws that govern the way teachers are hired and fired. 

The 16-page decision (attached below) may set off a slew of legal fights in California and other states, where many education reform advocates are eager to change similar laws.

"There is ... no dispute that there are a significant number of grossly ineffective teachers currently active in California classrooms," Judge Rolf M. Treu wrote. "Substantial evidence presented makes it clear to this court that the challenged statutes disproportionately affect poor and/or minority students.

"The evidence is compelling. Indeed, it shocks the conscience."

Enforcement of the much awaited ruling in Vergara v. California will be delayed pending an appeal by the lawsuit's defendants, the state and California's two major teachers unions.

A New Jersey father has been ordered to pay half the cost of his daughter's law school education at Cornell Law School, with his portion to be about $112,500, a New Jersey appeals court has ruled.

James Livingston must pay half the law school tab thanks to the terms in his divorce settlement agreement, according to the attached decision by the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division.

Livingston, a history professor at Rutgers University, must give his daughter the $112,500 so she can pay the $225,000 tab to attend Cornell Law School. When Livingston and his ex wife divorced in 2009, they agreed to split the cost if their daughter attended law school and maintained at least a 'C' average, the suit said.

After the divorce, Livingston had a falling out with his daughter and they stopped talking, the New Jersey Star-Ledger reports. Even so, Livingston offered to put up $7,500 per year if she attended Rutgers Law School and lived at home. His daughter opted to go to Cornell instead.

The New Jersey appeals court judges sided with the daughter, saying that the divorce agreement did not explicitly give the father a say about which school she could choose.

New Jersey children suing their parents for for college tuition has been national news of late. New Jersey honor student Rachel Canning sued her parents last week for college expenses. There is no contract or divorce settlement in play in the Canning case.

'Upskirt' Photos are Not Illegal, Mass. High Court Rules

It is not illegal to secretly photograph underneath a person’s clothing (known as “upskirting”), Massachusetts’ highest court has ruled in privacy decision that may prompt lawmakers to update state law.

The state’s highest court ruled (see decision below) that a man who took cellphone photos up the skirts of women on the Boston subway did not violate state law because the women were neither nude nor partially nude.

“A female passenger on a MBTA trolley who is wearing a skirt, dress, or the like covering these parts of her body is not a person who is ‘partially nude,’ no matter what is or is not underneath the skirt by way of underwear or other clothing,” wrote Justice Margot Botsford of the state Supreme Judicial Court.

The high court overruled a lower court decision that upheld charges against Michael Robertson, who was arrested in August 2010 by transit police who set up a sting after getting reports that he was using his cellphone to take photos and video up female riders’ skirts and dresses.

Robertson had argued that it was his constitutional right to take the photos. Existing so-called Peeping Tom laws in Massachusettsprotect people from being photographed in dressing rooms and bathrooms when nude or partially nude. But the law does not protect clothed people in public areas, the court said.

At least one prosecutor has urged state lawmakers to act.

“Every person, male or female, has a right to privacy beneath his or her own clothing,” Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley said in a statement Wednesday. “If the statute as written doesn’t protect that privacy, then I’m urging the Legislature to act rapidly and adjust it so it does.”

NJ Student Sues Parents to Force Them to Pay Her College Tuition

A New Jersey honor student has taken the unorthodox step of suing her parents for immediate financial support and to force them to pay for her college education.

Rachel Canning's lawsuit (attached below, complete with email exchanges) alleges that her parents threw her out of their home when she turned 18 and now refuse to pay her way through college. But Rachel's father, a former police chief, says Rachel moved out when she refused to abide by the house rules.

Both sides have lawyered up and spent Tuesday afternoon at a hearing before Morristown Judge Peter Bogaard.

Rachel Canning's lawsuit seeks a judge's declaration that she is non-emancipated and dependent as a student on her parents for support. She asked the judge to order her parents to pay an unpaid high school tuition bill, cover her current living and transportation expenses, and commit to a college fund for her.

"We love our child and miss her. This is terrible. It's killing me and my wife. We have a child we want home. We're not Draconian and now we're getting hauled into court," Sean Canning told The Daily Record.

The screenwriter who found Philip Seymour Hoffman dead of a drug overdose denied a supermarket tabloid's claim that he and Hoffman were lovers and has filed suit for $50 million.

The National Enquirer ran a cover story claiming that playwright David Bar Katz was Hoffman's "gay lover." On Wednesday Katz filed a civil suit in New York seeking $5 million in damages and another $45 million in punitive damages.

Katz's lawsuit (attached below) calls the story "a complete fabrication."

"There was no interview," Katz's lawyer claims in the 5-page complaint. "Bar Katz and Hoffman were never lovers. Bar Katz did not see Hoffman freebasing cocaine the night before he died or at any other time. Bar Katz never saw Hoffman use heroin or cocaine."

The suit calls the Enquirer article "one of the most reprehensible examples of yellow journalism" ever.

The National Enquirer has yet to respond to the lawsuit.

Disgraced ex-journalist Stephen Glass, who fabricated articles for major magazines in the 1990s, is not fit to practice law and has been denied a law license, the California Supreme Court has ruled.

In a unanimous opinion (attached below), California's highest court concluded Glass has not overcome the stain of his tarnished and infamous past as a journalist who fabricated stories for prominent publications in the late 1990s.

Glass was a magazine journalism wunderkind with articles appearing in Rolling Stone, Harper's and The New Republic. Eventually, he acknowledged that 42 articles were partially or wholly fabricated, according to a filing prepared by Glass's lawyers.

Glass's actions were called the most sustained fraud in modern journalism and led to the critically-acclaimed movie "Shattered Glass."

After his journalism career ended, Glass attended law school and spent the past six years pursuing admission to the California State Bar. Concerns about Glass' character kept him from being admitted to the New York Bar in 2004.

A lawyer for Glass, Jon Eisenberg, told Reuters that Glass "appreciates the court's consideration of his application and respects the court's decision."

Undocumented Immigrant Granted California Law License

The California Supreme Court granted a law license Thursday to an undocumented immigrant, a first-of-its-kind ruling that allows the man brought to the U.S. as a toddler to practice law in the state.

The state Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Sergio Garcia's undocumented status does not disqualify him from becoming a lawyer, and that the final obstacle was removed when the Legislature passed a law allowing otherwise-qualified applicants to join the bar regardless of their immigration status.

"There is no state law or state public policy that would justify precluding undocumented immigrants, as a class, from obtaining a law license," Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye wrote in the ruling.

Garcia was brought to the United States as a toddler, put himself through law school and has waited nearly two decades for legal residency.

But will he be able to find work as an attorney?

Federal law would still prohibit Garcia from working for a law firm or any other paying employer. Still, state officials say he could represent clients as an independent contractor, and Garcia plans to do so despite arguments by Obama administration officials that he would be working illegally.

The U.S. Department of Justice had opposed Garcia's application, while California Attorney General Kamala Harris supported it.

An animal rights group has filed a writ of habeas corpus in New York state court, declaring that a caged chimpanzee is entitled to rights as a legal person.

The Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc. filed this legal petition on Tuesday, arguing that the court should grant Tommy, a captive chimpanzee in Gloversville, New York, legal personhood and the freedom that comes with it, reports the New York Times.

Although the petition (see below) does not request that Tommy to be set free to roam upstate New York, it does demand his “immediate release to a primate sanctuary” which can adequately provide for his needs.

Writs of habeas corpus are typically used by criminal defendants, as a way to legally challenge their imprisonment as unlawful. Tommy’s habeas petition would attempt to both obtain his release from his cage as well as have the law recognize him as a person.

Key to this legal strategy is a strange quirk in New York state law, which allows pets and other animals to be considered beneficiaries of trusts. The Nonhuman Rights Project believes this is evidence that New York state has and does consider animals as legal persons with property rights — and therefore Tommy has the same right to liberty as a human.